Early Childhood Program

Enjoying Play with a Purpose

In our early childhood classrooms, great care is taken to create a warm and home-like setting and a beautiful environment where children’s senses are nurtured. Every aspect of our early childhood program is designed to foster healthy and balanced intellectual, emotional, and physical development from daily outdoor play and nature walks to the organic foods served at snack time. Our students learn by engaging in practical activities such as washing dishes, sweeping, gardening, baking and building. We incorporate seasonal crafts, movement, outdoor adventures, and ample creative free play to encourage joyful learning and imaginative exploration.

Eastside Community School offers preschool and kindergarten for three- to six-year old children (children must turn three by September 1). We request that your child be fully potty-trained, able to eat on his or her own, and cooperative in dressing for outdoor play.

Our early childhood program focuses on:

Imagination

Young children are supported in their natural development by an emphasis on imagination as explored through play, purposeful activity, movement, social life, art and a rich tradition of oral storytelling, all provided in a warm and secure environment.

Simple Play

The kind of playful work in which children engage in the our school is very different from the media-saturated expectations generated by most modern toys and electronic games. We provide young children many opportunities for undirected play while guiding them in creating a healthy social group with their peers.

Rhythm

Because a consistent, dependable daily rhythm provides a critical sense of security for a young child, activities are scheduled to follow the natural rhythms of a child’s day and year, balancing indoor and outdoor free play with more focused artistic and practical activities such as baking, painting, or crafts, and with circle time including rhymes, songs, and storytelling.

Beauty

Our classrooms are designed to support a foundation of Waldorf-inspired teaching: the world is good and beautiful. Classrooms are pleasant and calm areas for working and playing, our toys and art supplies are created from natural materials, and our outdoor areas include playgrounds, grassy fields, and natural woods for magical adventures.

Purposeful Activity

Young children begin school enthusiastic and excited to learn. Our activities prepare them for the challenges of elementary school subjects while nurturing and maintaining their enthusiasm:

  • Songs, stories and rhymes cultivate intimacy with language
  • Puppet shows and dramatic play strengthen memory and imagination
  • Counting games and rhythmic activities build a solid foundation for arithmetic skills
  • Painting and crafts help develop fine motor skills, coordination, and concentration
  • Vigorous play enhances concentration as it develops gross motor skills, proprioception, and vitality
  • Seasonal and outdoor activities foster understanding of the natural world